Cavaliers end skid, ground Hawks 127-105
BY STONE LEXINGTON
CAVALIERS BEAT WRITER
(CLEVELAND, OH) - The last time the Cleveland Cavaliers won a game in Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Christmas dinners hadn’t been placed on tables, the ball signaling a new year hadn’t been dropped and the President had yet to mistakenly place Kansas City in Kansas. The Cavs didn’t win a home game in January, their last victory at The FieldHouse coming on December 23. But despite bringing a 12-game home losing streak into Wednesday night’s game against the Atlanta Hawks, there was hope was on the horizon.
“We got another opportunity to get a home win,” Cavs head coach John Beilein said before the game. “It’s been…it seems like a long time.”
That last home win in December came against Atlanta, and the second-to-last-place in the Eastern Conference Hawks arrived in Cleveland on Wednesday as losers of four of their last six games. The Cavs, however, entered the game with the worst record in the East, but that didn’t stop them from emphatically ending their home woes before the weekend’s All-Star break.
With a convincing 127-105 victory on Wednesday, the Cavs snapped their 12-game home losing streak.
“It’s a happy locker room again,” Beilein said after the victory. “It’s been along time in Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse for us to have a happy locker room.”
Cleveland produced one of its better first halves of the season on Wednesday. After securing a slim 21-16 lead with 3:15 remaining in the first quarter, the Cavs put their proverbial foot on the gas, closing the first quarter with a 12-3 run to take a 33-19 lead into the second. Cleveland out-rebounded the Hawks 21-7 in the period and kept the momentum flowing into the second quarter.
When Tristan Thompson shockingly sank his second three-pointer in less than a minute with 8:31 to play until halftime, the Cavs had taken a commanding 43-26 lead. The fireworks were only beginning, as Darius Garland threw an alley-oop to Larry Nance Jr. for an emphatic dunk that gave Cleveland a 62-42 lead, their largest of the game to that point, with 1:22 remaining in the half.
The Cavs took a 65-48 lead into halftime and looked like they would cruise to victory after taking a 98-80 lead into the fourth quarter. The Hawks, however, wouldn’t leave Cleveland quietly.
Atlanta cut the deficit to nine points with just under five minutes to play in the game, but that was the closest the Hawks came the rest of the way.
The Cavs were without Kevin Love, who sat out the game due soreness in his right achilles. Several Cavaliers stepped up in his absence, including Collin Sexton, who finished with 23 points and six assists. Tristan Thompson finished with 27 points and totaled 11 rebounds, good for his 23rd double-double of the season.
Nance recorded his ninth double-double of the season, finishing with a career-high 23 points and 12 rebounds. Double-doubles must have been en vogue for the Cavs against Atlanta, as newest acquisition Andre Drummond scored 14 points with 15 rebounds.
Atlanta point guard Trae Young finished with 27 points and 12 assists.
“There’s some things that they do, especially Trae, that are just incredible,” Beilein said. “It’s really hard to stop.”
Wednesday game was Cleveland’s last before this weekend’s All-Star festivities. Their next contest coming out of the break will be in Washington D.C. against the Wizards.
POSTED 02/12/2020 22:40